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KAI Partners Staff Profile: President & CEO, David Kendall

Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Community Service, Corporate Training, Entrepreneurship, Front Street Animal Shelter, KAI Partners, KAI Partners Staff Profile, Learning, Managing/Leadership, Organizational Change Management (OCM), Professional Development, Program Management, Project Management, Project Management Professional (PMP), Sacramento, Sacramento Steps Forward, Servant Leadership, Small Business, Training, WEAVE, Workforce Development

There are many paths to success and while not everyone takes the same path, we often manage to arrive at the same destination. In our KAI Partners Staff Profile series, we share interviews and insight from some of our own employees here at KAI Partners. Our staff brings a diversity in education, professional, and life experience, all of which demonstrate that the traditional route is not necessarily the one that must be traveled in order to achieve success.

Today, we bring you the journey of our very own President & CEO, David Kendall! David founded KAI Partners in 2003. As our President & CEO, he is a managing director for the organization, as well as service delivery lead for a number of our clients.

KAI Partners, Inc.: How did you get into your line of work?

David: I spent nine years in the U.S. Air Force performing a technical role related to electronic warfare. At the same time, I was finishing up my undergraduate degree in Management Information Systems from University of Maryland University College. After the Air Force and graduating from college, I worked for several different companies in project manager and program manager roles.

KAI: Are there any certifications or trainings you’ve gone through that have helped in your career?

David: I have my Project Management Professional (PMP)®, Certified ScrumMaster (CSM®), and Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO®) certifications. I’ve found that certifications give us a common language to talk about a particular domain. They provide a framework to execute tasks in a specific order to achieve an outcome. They also provide a professional community and opportunities for community service.

KAI: What is your favorite part about your line of work and why?

David: For clients, my favorite part of my job is providing solutions to business problems. Helping solve problems means I can really see the value for our customers, partners, and our staff. My favorite part of being a small business President & CEO is individual and team development.

KAI: What is one of the most common questions you receive from clients and what counsel or advice do you give them?

David: I frequently get asked by clients, “How do I manage change across my organization?” I recommend building coalitions, identifying change agents, and including these people in the process early and often. Internally, I sometimes get the ‘What’s in it for me?’ question. I think it’s important to communicate why we do what we do and how this relates back to all aspects of a person’s work—their own development, the team’s development, our community, and our customers.

At the end of the day, our goal is to help provide more reliable services to Californians, so it’s important to keep this at the forefront.

Now that we’ve learned more about David’s background and current work as both consultant and KAI Partners’ President & CEO, here’s a little more about him!

Quick Q&A with David Kendall:

Daily, must-visit website: For work, I visit Asana.com. It’s a flexible work management tool that allows the team to create a set of business rules so everyone can work successfully. For news and information, I go to the New York Times, LinkedIn, and—of course—social media sites.

Preferred genre of music or podcast to listen to: The most recent audiobook I listened to was “Lab Rats: How Silicon Valley Made Work Miserable for the Rest of Us,” by Dan Lyons. I read this for the bi-monthly KAI Book Club. The book club is a newer endeavor for us internally. I’ve enjoyed the participation and a diversity of perspectives and thought-provoking discussion that comes out of our meetings. We also have a resident mixologist who creates thematic cocktails based on each book!

Best professional advice received: “Leaders are not appointed.” Another piece of advice I received is simply said (but not always simply done), and that is: Manage expectations. I’ve found that this applies to any management job at any level.

Book you can read over and over again: Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio.

Most-recent binge-watched show: “Letterkenny” on Hulu.

About David: Mr. Kendall’s career serving the public sector includes key consulting positions for various health and human services agencies. Mr. Kendall supports a number of community partners in the Sacramento region, including WEAVE, Sacramento Steps Forward, and Front Street Animal Shelter. In his spare time, David enjoys playing golf and cooking.

Giving Tuesday: Sacramento Edition

Community Service, First Responder Support Network, Front Street Animal Shelter, Giving Tuesday, River City Food Bank, Sacramento, Sacramento Steps Forward, The WorkShop, WEAVE

Happy #GivingTuesday, Sacramento! With Thanksgiving behind us, we’re now officially in the holiday season. We always want to keep our eye on what’s important, which is why we wanted to highlight some of our favorite charitable organizations in the Sacramento area—and, we’d love for you to share your favorite community service organizations with us, as well!

WEAVE, Inc.: WEAVE is the primary provider of crisis intervention services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Sacramento County.

Sacramento Steps Forward: Sacramento Steps Forward is a nonprofit organization committed to ending homelessness in our region through collaboration, innovation, and connecting people to services.

First Responder Support Network: The mission of the First Responder Support Network (FRSN) is to provide educational treatment programs to promote recovery from stress and critical incidents experienced by first responders and their families.

River City Food Bank: River City Food Bank’s mission is to alleviate hunger in Sacramento County by providing healthy emergency food and other assistance.

Have canned goods to donate? The WorkShop Sacramento is home to a River City Food Bank donation bin this season—stop by 3301 C St. #1000 with your non-perishables!

Front Street Animal Shelter: The Front Street Animal Shelter not only cares for lost and abandoned animals in our community, they also provide a variety of services that protect both citizens and animals.

Happy #GivingTuesday!

The WorkShop – Sacramento Grand Opening Celebration!

Co-working, Community Service, Event Recap, Front Street Animal Shelter, KAI Partners, KAIP Academy, Sacramento, Small Business, The WorkShop, Workforce Development

Photo Credit: Stephen Alfano and Carmen Marsh

KAI Partners recently celebrated the grand opening of The WorkShop – Sacramento! The grand opening event provided the opportunity to show off The WorkShop’s beautiful 9,000 square feet of office, desk, and conference room space, as well as network with friends, colleagues, and community partners.

The highlight of the evening included puppies from Front Street Animal Shelter. Each adorable, adoptable puppy was named after a country music star. We were thrilled to partner with Front Street to raffle off five free adoptions to folks attending the Grand Opening. That’s five animals that will get new loving homes and for that we are very grateful.

The bourbon tasting with Rick Mindermann from Corti Brothers was also a highlight of the night—and provided a true learning opportunity for folks to gain history and knowledge about this American spirit.

Thank you to all who came out to attend our Grand Opening celebration and thank you to the East Sacramento/McKinley Park neighborhood for giving us such a warm welcome.

Interested in seeing The WorkShop? We’d love the opportunity to show you around. Please email workshop@kaipartners.com or call 916-465-8065 to set up a tour or to get more information about our services.

Here’s a little more information about The WorkShop – Sacramento:

  • As a co-working space, The WorkShop provides customized, competitively priced workspaces, including dedicated office and desk space.
  • As a business support provider, The WorkShop provides a la carte services such as reception, IT, and mailing services, as well as access to meeting rooms.
  • As a business incubator, The WorkShop combines our amenities with business development services and access to expert advisors.
  • As the home of our workforce development arm, the KAIP Academy, The WorkShop offers training and certification in today’s most in-demand skills and disciplines.